Learning from Assessments/ Evaluations

By Fesseha Nair

A six day seminar was conducted in Addis onEritrea, participants were Eritrean political organizations. The Seminar was organized by Saanna Cooperation Forum. Evaluation Seminars are today common platforms for exchanging views and experiences. They serve as instruments of change and improvement. In addition, they serve as sources of knowledge if the organizations are doing the rights things in the right place and time. These experiences of both the weaknesses and strengths of the organizations help to make improvements and doing minor mistakes. In this article I shall try to explore the issues discussed at the seminar by presenting the results of this seminar. The seminar evaluated the current situation inEritrea. The Seminar discussed on four issues: I would like to share with cyber discussants under each of the following headings. Here below are questions to attend.


  1. Evaluating the dictatorship inEritrea


–         What kind of dictatorship?

–         What is the origin of dictatorship?

–         Who owns the government inEritrea?

–         Who are the beneficiaries from this government?

–         What kind of system is inEritrea? Is it communist- Maoism?

–         What are its strengths and weaknesses?

–         What are its opportunities and threats?

–         What are its strategies and tactics?

–         How can we face the dictatorship in reality?


  1. Evaluating the opposition camp- political and civic organizations.


–         What are the weaknesses and strengths of the Eritrean Opposition forces?

–         What does the Opposition internal world look at the present? Why is it as it is?

–         What trends and obstacles were in the internal work which affected the opposition negatively?

–         What threats and opportunities have had the opposition in the past and present?

–         What were the strategies and tactics of the opposition in facing the dictatorship?

–         Were the EDA( Eritrean Democratic Alliance) political organizations allied strategically or tactically?

–         What does minimum respectively maximum level of alliance mean?


  1. Assessing a strategic planning for the future


–         Why do we need strategic planning?

–         What are the main factors to be identified to overcome dictatorship?

–         What will be the roles of the internal resistance and external pressures for disintegrating the totalitarian regime?

–         Why does the opposition need grand strategy at this time?

–         How can the opposition forces capitalize on the weakness of the dictatorship?


  1. Plan of action


The seminar has plotted a working model after analysing the current situation inEritreaby identifying the ruling regime inEritreaand the current situation of the opposition democratic forces. Identifying the dictatorship inEritreabased on the above headings. Participants provided a comprehensive analysis of the dictatorship inEritrea, its leaders, its owners and its beneficiaries. The seminar has diagnosed the attitudes and characters of the dictatorship and come at last with common view that the dictatorship inEritreais, “ Absolute Totalitarian” led by few elite Tigrinya. It is not a Maoist communist but state capitalist. It does never represent the Tigrinya Ethnicity. The Tigrinya ethnicity are today the victims of this few elite. It is only the totalitarian regime who is responsible to all the crimes committed against our people. The Tigrinya Ethnicity is oppressed like other people inEritrea.


In evaluating the opposition democratic forces, the seminar freely debated together the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition camp according to their knowledge and experiences. Strengths and weaknesses of the opposition forces for democratic change were cleared by all participants. Internal and external opportunities and threats were clarified. The opposition political organizations weaknesses dominate their strengths. The opposition political organizations have been living in “blame games” and rejecting each other. They were inclined in conflict creating not solving. Their alliance building were tactical not strategic.

The opposition political organizations unanimously agreed on their failures and agreed to work together in harmony to end the dictatorship inEritrea.


In its planning of strategy, the seminar has plotted a grand strategy aiming at the dictator’s power.

 It has visualized the objectives of change, common vision and common mission.


Common political mission,

1. ምልእቲ ኤርትራ ትጥርንፍ ናይ ሓባር መልእኽቲ


ገባቲ ስርዓት ወጊድካ ሕዝቢ ኤርትራ ካብ ብርሰት ምድሓን!


2. ንተቃውምቲ ዝርኢ መልእኽቲ፣

ሓድነትና ኣብ ፍሉይነትና!

3. ንብሔራት ዝርኢ መልእኽቲ


ዝብድለና ዘሎ ሕዝቢ ትግሪኛ ኣይኮነን እንታይ ድኣ ኢሳያስን ጉጅለኡን ኢዮም!



The seminar has reached common views or agreed on 6 point guiding principles: These guiding principles will serve as a, “code of conduct” containing the principles for future political interaction and structuring the organization of the democratic forces. The following are the guiding principles:


  1. We belief that the only responsible for all crimes and destruction against our people and land is the PFDJ totalitarian regime.
  2. We belief thatEritreais a multicultural society with diverse languages and religion.
  3.  We belief that all conflicts can be resolved under united democraticEritrea.
  4. We belief that it is the Eritrean people who is decision maker.
  5. We belief that all internal conflicts and problems can be resolved by democratic methods.
  6. We are against all chauvinism, parochialism and all kinds of extremism.


What are the common visions?


  1. Ending the totalitarian regime In Eritrea
  2. Establishing democraticEritrearespecting all rights of the diversities


The opposition political organizations targeted areas of development:


–         Shifting from minimum to maximum

–         Shifting from tactical to strategic partnership

–         Having common political message to the Eritrean people

–         Having clear goals and work together


Methods of change


The seminar made clear a sensible and accessible choice of routes to end the dictatorship inEritreaby,


–         Coordinating their internal and external forces for change that might strengthen their efforts to reach their objectives.

–         Identifying which forces are against change or impeding their efforts to reach their goals.

–         How they can create a platform suited to all forces for change.


The seminar participants agreed on the code of conduct of the following rules:


–         Honesty and openness

–         Commitment

–         Respect for each other and each others opinions

–         Aspiration towards a common goal

–         Listening to one another

–         Tolerance and recognition of each other



All suggestions and proposals made by participants were constructive and expressed positively.


A committee of 7 persons were appointed to document and compile together the results of the six day seminar. The committee will also disseminate the report to all branches of the political organizations. The committee will also be a contact group between the political organizations and the commission for democratic change in order to have tangible information instead of having unreliable information that creates mistrust among forces for democratic change.



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